Today LEGO announced that they are retiring the Mindstorms brand and sets, instead choosing to focus on robotics products like 45678 SPIKE Prime, which we reviewed in 2020. The current Mindstorms product, 51515 Robot Inventor will be discontinued at the end of 2022, along with Powered Up elements 88016 Large Hub and 88018 Medium Angular Motor. In a clear signal that the company is shifting away from Mindstorms rather than preparing to launch a new generation, LEGO has said that the current Mindstorms team will be reassigned to other departments. The company has promised the current Mindstorms Robot Inventor app will be available through 2024. The 51515 Robot Inventor set (US $359.99 | CAN $459.99 | UK £314.99) is currently out of stock from LEGO in the United States and Canada, and it’s not clear whether it will be available again before it is removed from sale.
Here’s the full press release from LEGO:
Since its launch in September 1998, LEGO MINDSTORMS has been one of the core ‘Build & Code’ experiences in the company’s portfolio, carrying with it significant brand equity and becoming a stand-out experience for the early days of consumer robotics and leading to current Build & Code experiences such as SPIKE Prime, from LEGO Education’s LEGO Learning System.
However, now having a number of priorities in LEGO Education and other Build & Code experiences, we have decided to focus our resources and future plans by redirecting our MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor team and their expertise into different areas of the business.
This means the physical MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor product (51515) and its related elements (88016 and 88018) are to exit our portfolio from the end of 2022, whilst digital platforms – such as the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor App – will remain live until at least the end of 2024.
We still have strong belief in the Build & Code proposition and will continue to support it through platforms such as SPIKE Prime, and we are continuing to hold on to the trademark for the MINDSTORMS brand and assessing our future plans together with LEGO Education.
With the exception of the past couple of years, I’ve been a staple at BrickCon in Seattle since 2005 or so. This year, I wasn’t a registrant but snuck in unnoticed (almost). While there, I was treated to this wonderous LEGO stage show put on by Douglas Hughes. The table presence of this massive creation was quite impressive, even with the curtains closed. But as the curtains parted, the intro music started and the real show began! As described by the builder, “As the curtains part you can see biplanes circling both above and below the zeppelin which maneuvers up and down.The soundtrack transitions to biplane maneuver and machine gun noises, and a red biplane swoops to the center stage from behind a cloud, gently rocking back and forth. Soon enough the red plane sidles back behind cloud cover and the finale begins to unfold – a little biplane corkscrews down in an uncontrolled dive until it hits the zeppelin.” He goes on to say; “Red lights flash, explosions rock the air, and the zeppelin slowly breaks apart revealing smoke and fire rising from within. The curtains begin to close and the finale fanfare plays – the show is over!”
I guess you had to have been there. No, seriously, you had to have been there! The builder hasn’t provided a video of this beast on motion just yet but I can attest that this was an amazing work of art. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out, but this had to have won one of the top prizes, I’m sure. Chime in in the comments to let us know what awards this won or just to tell us what you think.
If you don’t know what collaborative intelligence is, let me show you an illustrative example. You take two brilliant LEGO builders, say, ▷Cezium◁ and Ivan Martynov, you put them inside shared digital building space (aka collaborative mode in Stud.io) and let their shared mind run wild. But be cautious of some mind-blowing mechs and awesome use of LEGO Mindstorms elements.
Usually I don’t appreciate people changing LEGO parts colors to any non-existing shade; it just ruins the challenge of using what is available. But with jaw-dropping render quality I can forgive a lot: these builds look both mesmerising and a bit terrifying. I’m kind of happy they only exist in the digital world.
Everyone knows that an Archelon is a species of marine turtle that went extinct during the Late Cretaceous period. What this LEGO build supposes is, maybe they didn’t and then a hermit community built a castle on one’s back. Archelon Castle by Fraser Ratzlaffis a fanciful, Mindstorms-powered, articulated creature with 4 independently swaying appendages, an anatomically correct mouth masticating a lobster, and oh yes—the entire beast (and affixed castle) slowly rotates 360 degrees. Hitch a ride as we explore the intense environmental storytelling of this build that took almost two years to create.
When you are looking for the perfect part for your next LEGO robot, look no further than these parts from the LEGO Mindstorms NXT theme. Motors and sensors make the perfect robotic details in this somewhat creepy bot by alex_ mocs that would give the Terminator a run for its money. The spines on its back also remind me of something from the game Horizon Zero Dawn. But if I had to choose my favorite part use, it would be the long bendy neck made from radar dishes
After a seven-year hiatus, LEGO has come out with an all-new Mindstorms system. We took a look at the new 51515 Robot Inventor set last week, but when it went on sale yesterday via LEGO’s website and stores, it also included a matching gift with purchase. 40413 Mini Robots is available with any order over US $100 | CA $100 | UK £100 and includes 366 pieces. The promo runs until Nov. 1 or while supplies last. The set builds tiny versions of the five robots from the full-size Robot Inventor Mindstorms kit to let everyone get a piece of the new Mindstorms, whether you intend to plunk down $360 for the big kit or not.
The year 2013 feels like eons ago. After all, a lot can happen in 7 years, and that’s how long it’s been since Mindstorms EV3 arrived on the scene. Now it’s beyond high-time for the long-awaited successor to LEGO’s premier robotics platform to hit the stage. Back in June when LEGO Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor was revealed, some people were ecstatic, but many were unimpressed with the features of the new system. In this review, we’ll take a deep dive to see if this set proves that you shouldn’t judge a bot by its cover. Robot Inventor contains 949 pieces and will be available beginning October 15 for US $359.99 | CAN $459.99 | UK £329.99.
According to the LEGO Lab news page, a new LEGO Mindstorms set, 515153 Mindstorms Porsche, is in the works. The set is based on 2019’s LEGO Technic 42096 Porsche 911 RSR set. Unlike the original set, which had no motorized functions, the new edition comes with the latest LEGO Mindstorms motors and sensors, which were revealed along with the announcement of the new generation of the system back in June.
Several months ago, we reviewed LEGO Education’s new product, SPIKE Prime. And just a couple weeks ago, we featured news about the latest addition to the Mindstorms theme, the SPIKE-esque 51515 Robot Inventor. This new generation of programmable robotics brings bright colors and fresh ideas to the table. We’re already seeing some awesome builds coming from the education community, like this bike by the folks at Creator Academy Australia and Project Bucephalus.What’s so awesome about it? It’s self-balancing. This little guy can ride along on its own without tipping over (as long as there isn’t a wall). Click the link below to see it in action!
LEGO has revealed the successor to the Mindstorms EV3 as 51515 Robot Inventor, a 5-in-1 robotics and coding kit. The set is the first addition to the Mindstorms theme in seven years since 31313 EV3 launched in 2013 which was recently labeled as “Retiring Soon” on the LEGO Store online. The new Robot Inventor includes 949 pieces which can be built and rebuilt into five models each with different capabilities and personalities. The set will be available later this year (LEGO has stated early Q4) and will retail for US $359.99 | UK £329.99 | EU €359.99.
Robot Inventor includes a rechargeable Intelligent Hub first seen in SPIKE Prime (enabling Bluetooth connections, gyroscope, accelerometer, and a light matrix) as well as four medium-angular motors, an ultrasonic distance sensor, and a color sensor. LEGO is also launching a Robot Inventor app with visual and text-based coding, the ability to make customized digital remote controls, and support for a variety of third-party controllers like those used with the PS4 and Xbox One.
Some of you may already know I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I just can’t help being enthralled with the awesome engineering that lies within a pinball machine. It’s like an obstacle course for your mind, but tangible. And nothing makes me more giddy than one made from LEGO. This little machine, built by Dawid Marasek, may look simple, but it has a great asset: it’s modular.
LEGO Education sets are now available online for a limited time from the LEGO Store online. Previously, these have only been available online in the US and only through specialized retailers for the rest of the world. The LEGO Store indicates that these are now available for educational purposes which speaks to the current COVID-19 situation around the world where parents and students may want to explore learning at home with LEGO-facilitated tools.
Not all countries can now purchase them, but we’ve spotted LEGO Education products available the US, CAN, UK and other select European country stores. The good news is these sets contribute to VIP points, which has not been the case in the past. We have listed each product available and provided an op-ed about the reasoning behind the pricing.